Thursday, July 2, 2009

Speaking of Taxes, Part V: Tax "Speak" Explained

Welllll, sort of. Fact is I'd probably need as many pages as the tax code to fully explain taxes; and therein lies the rub. Ever since inception, Congress has done nothing but try and fix, simplify, close loopholes in and explain the tax code. That's almost 100 years worth of legalese! Just the sheer enormity of the wasted trees makes me want to report them to the EPA but, alas, the EPA has to be ashamed of their own paper mountain.

Congress writes and passes the tax laws yes, Congress and NOT the President; most of whom don't control their own spending, but know quite well how to increase the balance of their own accounts while decreasing yours. It's the same bunch of people who know how to vote themselves a pay raise, year after year claiming they need it to cover the cost of living increases. They do it just before Christmas recess during which time you're in a charitable mood or are too busy to notice.

Every year they promise to correct the tax laws, loopholes and unjust taxation and each year they increase paper waste. And so they come up with term that challenges the most intelligent among us to understand and like the other laws they enact it's subject to numerous interpretations guaranteeing another tax code correction somewhere down the line.

Since tax information is so much in the news, mainly about how much we should or should not pay, I thought I'd simplify a few terms most confusing to taxpayers as to their true meaning or what Congress is really saying:

Tax Break = If we give you a break, you owe us one so don't hold us accountable.

Tax Cut = Applies only to those who qualify, usually the people who don't have to pay taxes anyway. For the rest of you, a part of your anatomy will be collected to pay for the deficits created giving those tax cuts.

Tax Refund = You lent us your money for free and we spent it already so you should be glad we give it back to you.

Tax Credit = Government Redistribution Program; or those who work more pay for those who don't. This credit should not be confused with a loan like the kind you have to repay with interest.

"Nigh", they say, "It's not us that's keeping it from you, it's the other party who's at fault, so elect us if you wish for that cut and spending cutback!"; and elected they get, time after time. Then once in office, like for poor ole' Charley Brown, Lucy keeps pulling that football. Will we ever learn?

Put simply they don't want to give you a break because that would mean they'd have to tighten their own favorite charity which is their re-election platform entitled: "I brought home the bacon!"

The fortunate part of the Internet is that you can virtually look up anything you want to know. The unfortunate part is that there is a lot of misinformation out there. It is also unfortunate that many who swear they know about who pays most of the tax and swear they know where most of it is spent, don't bother to use the first source of information; the place where the spending takes place and all bookkeeping is kept. In other words how many amongst you are willing to look it up and study the Congressional Budget Office site or http:/ to get the accurate information. (That is until this last April, going forward I'm almost certain it will be misinformation.)

The main information we are seeking here is the annualized historical budget data entitled Revenues, Outlays, Deficits, Surpluses, and Debt Held by the Public, 1968-2007. Notice it says Held by the Public? That's everyone who works and earns in the USA! And it's the most revealing figure why they need to continue to collect taxes from you and I and it's also the most revealing about why they will never cut spending if they are to survive. "Survival" here means keep the government bureaucracies in place forevermore without which they cannot justify being in office.

In short, they'll never cut taxes really, and they'll never be transparent about them either. In fact they keep passing hidden taxes under such titles as fees, dues, licenses, etc., and you keep paying. It's when you stop paying when they'll start paying attention to you, again.
blog comments powered by Disqus